Wartburg Castle located near town of Eisenach is one of the oldest castles in Germany. It was founded by German Duke Ludwig de Springer in 1067 AD. There is an amazing legend about the castle’s name which was told to be given after the Duke saw the fascinating mountains and decided to build a castle right on that place.
The Eisenach lands belong to Thuringia, the German land in origin for over several centuries. However, this land was mostly closed area of East Germany during Soviet rule. Still, the Wartburg Castle should appreciate Soviet times for perfect restoration of numerous rooms and internal interior.
Actually this castle was worth being restored as its name makes visitors remind attractive periods and out-standing people in Germany history. To tempt visitors we should remind three things in the castle history: Martin Luther, minstrels’ contests and fantastic Alps views from the castle’s drawbridge.
Minstrels’ contests were kept in the castle in the era of the Middle Ages and we can still see the room specially designed for such competitions called Hall of the Minstrels. The room saved the 12th century Romanesque architecture and design and its interior is decorated with medieval frescoes illustrating famous winners of minstrels’ contests. The frescoes on the walls and ceiling were so perfectly restored that you can easily imagine and take part in famous competitions and feel the merry festal atmosphere of the castle’s medieval life.
The Wartburg drawbridge is one of the most amazing architectural parts of the huge castle. It attracts big interest because of two reasons: this castle entrance has saved its initial view and structure and it opens to visitors the access to fantastic images of the Alps.
Actually the castle’s architecture reminds the best-known periods of its history: Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance; and the huge sizes of the castle’s towers, the Great Hall with its Latin Cross on the top and numerous buildings within the castle territory impress visitors by their power and stability.
But the main reason of Wartburg’s perfect integrity and care is its close connection with one of Luther’s most significant period. Luther was sent to this castle due to expulsion cause by his Reformation leading. Some scholars admit that the very this castle atmosphere inspired Luther to make excellent translation of the New Testament into German and provide standards of the German language being used till present times. His workroom still vitally reflects his daily life in the castle. The saved medieval desk keeps the Bible with his comments on the margins and the walls hold the Luther’s and his wife’s pictures painted by Cranach Lucas the Elder.
After one-year housing Luther left the castle, but his Wartburg activity made numerous pilgrims visit the castle as one of the saint places in Germany.
In 1999 UNESCO recognized Wartburg Castle as place worth being listed in the World Heritage List because of its saved unique architecture and outstanding history. Thus, the castle has the national significance status and attracts thousands of tourists every year.